Tag Archives: Coach Roper

Duke first to offer Texas OL Sterling Korona

Duke is the first to offer Texas OL Sterling Korona - Photo copyright Alamo Sports Photography

Are the Blue Devils building a pipeline of offensive linemen from Texas? Last year, the Blue Devils signed an athletic offensive line prospect from the state of Texas in 6'6" 255 pound Tanner Stone. Over this past weekend, Duke added another big Texan in 6'4" 295 pound Austin Davis. Offensive Line Coach Latina is hoping to keep the pipeline flowing and add another top prospect from the state in 6'7" 250 pound Sterling Korona from Reagan High School in San Antonio. The hard-working offensive line prospect is receiving plenty of interest from Big 12 schools, but recently picked up his first scholarship offer from the Blue Devils. BDN checked in with Sterling to find out more about his recruitment. [private]

BDN: How would you describe your strengths as a player?

In terms of my strength, I think some of my biggest strengths are that I’m very technical with everything I do. Everything is technique, technique, technique. The better technique you have, the better it works out for your strengths and weaknesses, it comes with the technique, as long as you have better technique, it strengthens everything. In terms of what I want to bring to the college level, I think I can bring my work ethic, I pride myself on it. I think with work ethic, everything can be gained through work ethic as long as you keep working and keep getting stronger, everything will get better with time and if you keep working at it, you’ll be in good shape.

BDN: What are you working on this offseason as you prepare for your senior year?

My biggest things are gaining weight, getting stronger and faster. Improving the bond between my teammates and me, just working on getting a strong bond and a strong team together, hoping to make a bigger run than we did last year. My biggest things that I’m working on now are just my strength, my quickness, and my overall size and mass.

BDN: As you approach your college decision, what are the most important things you are looking for in a school?

Well, it all comes first with education. The better the education, the more I’m inclined to look into a school as someplace I want to go. And then obviously, great with football. Some of the biggest things are like when I’ve talked with Coach Roper, he’s been very helpful with me, he’s been a great guy, he’s always willing to answer any questions I have and help me with anything I need. Having a great support system around, it just really helps you.

BDN: Where do you stand with offers and interest from schools now?

I have received interest from Texas State, [Texas] A&M, Texas Tech, UTSA, Houston, Kansas State Illinois, Yale, Princeton, basically that’s some of them. Duke has offered me and others have been talking about it and others have been implying it. But mostly Duke has told me that they’ve offered me and they want to get me up there. With some other schools it’s the same, but mostly Duke is the biggest of all of them right now.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit?

I’ve visited Texas Tech and [Texas] A&M. I’m going to visit UTSA, Houston in a few days, probably Kansas State and some other Big 12 schools, but those are just a few.

BDN: You’re obviously in the heart of Big 12 country in Texas. How much of a factor will location be when you make your decision?

Well, we’ve always been very family-oriented, but if the opportunity presents itself and the scholarship is there and the academics is there and the athletics is there, I’ll be inclined to go wherever I feel I have the best opportunity.

BDN: It’s still early in the process, but are there any schools that have stood out to you at this point, or do you have a rough ranking in your head?

I think Duke has to be number one at this point. I’d probably put Houston next, followed by Texas Tech and Texas A&M and then UTSA.

BDN: Do you have a timeline in mind for when you plan to narrow things down or make your final decision?

Well, to me I think it would probably be better for me to visit with people, see all the sides from people in my family and stuff like that, probably would be better for me to wait closer to Signing Day to bring all the facts and all the situations together and then make the best decision.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Sterling, and best of luck.

Thank you.


Sterling's highlights can be viewed here.

Woodbridge (VA) DB Evrett Edwards picks up an offer on his visit to Duke

DB Evrett Edwards is the type of star student-athlete Coach Cutcliffe wants at Duke

During Coach Cutcliffe's revitalization of Duke football, he has maintained the program's reputation for featuring the top student-athletes in the ACC. A year ago, the program led the ACC with 19 Academic All-Conference selections, more than three times any other ACC program. The goal is to match that success in the classroom with the results on the field, and ultimately, that effort starts on the recruiting trail. This weekend, Coach Cutcliffe extended a scholarship offer to a top student-athlete from Virginia, who he hopes can help the Blue Devils continue to build their success both in the classroom and on the field.

Evrett Edwards is a 5'11" 175 pound cornerback prospect from Woodbridge HS in Woodbridge, VA. Though he didn't start playing football until 8th grade, Edwards was a quick study, learning from his uncle, Benny Guilbeaux, a former safety at Notre Dame. By his junior year in 2011, Edwards earned 1st Team All-District honors, totaling 38 tackles, 6 interceptions, 4 pass break-ups, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 blocked field goals, and 1 blocked punt. The speedy prospect has seen his recruitment take off in recent weeks, and he now holds 6 scholarship offers from Boston College, Duke, Illinois, Ohio, Wake Forest, and West Virginia. BDN caught up with Evrett shortly after his unofficial visit to Duke on March 17. [private]

BDN: How would you describe your strengths as a player?

My understanding for the game. I’ve been told that I have a very high football IQ. I use that to my advantage. I study a lot of film, I study so much film to the point where I know if they run a certain play, I know what their whole drive will consist of. My footwork, I play soccer, so at my position footwork is a big deal. My quickness and my speed, I run a 4.42 [second] 40 [yard dash] and 3.91 [second] 20-yard shuttle.

BDN: What are you working on this offseason as you prepare for your senior year?

First of all, better myself. Second of all, better the people around me, and through that, obtain a state championship.

BDN: As you approach your college decision, what are the most important things you are looking for in a school?

I’m looking for a school that will last with me for 40 years. I understand that football is going to be finished at some point, and whenever football is done with me and I’m done with football, I need a degree from a school that is going to mean something in the business world. So, a 40-year, not a 4-year school.

BDN: Is business something you want to study in college?

International Business.

BDN: Where do you stand with offers and visits now?

I have 6 offers, most recent came from Duke yesterday. Earlier this week, on Tuesday, I got one from Wake Forest. On Friday, last week, was West Virginia. Thursday last week was Boston College and Wednesday last week was Ohio. Two or three weeks ago, my first offer came from Illinois.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit?

I’ve visited Duke and UVA thus far. I’m really trying to plan a visit to West Virginia and then April 13th I’m going to Northwestern, they’re interested and talking about a possible offer. On the 14th I’m going to the University of Illinois.

BDN: Can you talk a little bit about your visits to UVA and Duke and what stood out to you about those schools?

Virginia, I talked to Coach Poindexter and he invited me to their Junior Day so we went down and visited, sat down and went over some film with Coach West, nothing serious. Duke, I’ve been in contact with Coach Roper for quite some time now, I went to spring practice, liked what I saw, had a chance to see the position coaches, watched film with them in a meeting, and then at the end of the day, Coach Cutcliffe called me into his office along with my parents. He told me he wanted to extend me an offer and thought that I would be a perfect fit for this school with my upbringing from my parents and how it’s hard to find true student-athletes that excel both in the classroom and on the field, and he really liked that about me.

BDN: Do you have a timeline in mind for when you plan to narrow things down or make your final decision?

I had been saying November/December, but now, after the way things have been going the past couple of weeks, I really don’t have a timeframe. I’ve prayed about it with my parents and when I get that feeling, I’m going to make the phone call and drive or fly to whatever school and talk to the coach.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Evrett, and best of luck.

Alright, thank you.


Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan recaps his Duke official visit for BDN Premium

Mallard Creek RB Jela Duncan is Duke's top remaining priority in the class of 2012

It’s no secret that Jela Duncan has been the Duke coaching staff’s top priority in the class of 2012 for the past several months. The Mallard Creek star RB is viewed as the type of elite athlete that will help the Blue Devils’ program get to the next level. As signing day approaches, Duncan is making his final visits and has narrowed his choices to Duke, ECU, Wake Forest, and North Carolina. Coach Cutcliffe has developed a strong relationship with the elite prospect throughout his recruitment and welcomed him to Durham on an official visit this weekend. Duncan checked in with BDN shortly after returning home from his Duke official visit. [private]

BDN: How was your visit to Duke?

IT went pretty good, it went pretty good. I like it up there, I like it.

BDN: You’ve been to Durham a few times before. What were you able to see on this visit that was different?

Well I got to see more this time. They showed me the academic buildings, got to see the indoor facility since it’s been put up, and I got to sit down and meet with the coaches a little bit more than I had before.

BDN: Did you get to spend some time with the Duke players and who was your host?

Yes, I did. Jamison Crowder. That was my first time actually meeting him.

BDN: Can you talk a little about your relationship with the Duke coaches?

First off, I have a great relationship with Coach Cut. We talk on the phone probably every other day. He calls sometimes just to check up on me and see how I’m doing. My relationship with the running back coach, Coach Roper, that’s a pretty good relationship. We sat down and watched film. He showed me some of the offense that they’re running and it’s basically some of the things we run at Mallard Creek. It was pretty simple.

BDN: What other visits do you have scheduled and when do you think you’ll make your final decision?

I’ll probably make my final decision after I come back from Wake Forest next weekend.

BDN: Is that your last visit remaining?

Yes sir it is. I probably might go on an unofficial visit to UNC this week but I don’t have the date yet.

BDN: You’ve also been able to visit ECU. Do you have a ranking of schools in your head at this point?

It’s basically between ECU, Duke, and UNC and Wake Forest.

BDN: What will be the one or two things that are most important as you make your final decision?

If I feel like I’m at home. Am I comfortable? Am I going to be able to be there for four years without football, looking at life outside of football?

BDN: Thanks a lot, Jela. Best of luck.

Ok, thank you sir.


GA athlete Micheal Summers visits Duke and picks up an offer

Michael Summers is a versatile athlete from Georgia with a Duke offer

When Head Coach David Cutcliffe came to Durham, he vowed that he would transform the Blue Devils into a faster and more athletic team. In his first few recruiting classes, he has added several high-level athletes, including Isaac Blakeney in 2010 and Jamison Crowder in 2011. The coaching staff is looking to continue that trend in the class of 2012, and recently hosted a speedy, versatile athlete from the state of Georgia. Micheal Summers is a 6’1” 190 pound athlete from Statesboro, Georgia. As a junior, he played on both sides of the ball, totaling over 1100 all-purpose yards and 10 touchdowns, leading the Statesboro Blue Devils to a 11-3 overall record, falling just short of a state championship. The talented athlete made the trip to Durham this past weekend and came away with his first verbal scholarship offer. Highlights from his junior season can be found here.


BDN: Can you start out by describing your strengths as a player?

Running the ball, my running speed, catching, blocking, and pass defending.

BDN: You’ve played multiple positions very well in high school. Do you have a preference for what position you play in college, or have coaches told you they are recruiting you for a specific position yet?

Slot receiver, running back, safety, and cornerback.

BDN: What are some of the things you have been working on this offseason?

I’m working on a lot of agility work, and a lot of explosions, a lot of upper body work to get stronger, a lot of speed work, working uphill, a lot of catching, and a lot of catching to become a better receiver. I’m just doing a lot of – mainly a lot of agility work, work on my foot speed and balance.

BDN: You guys came up just short of a state championship at Statesboro last year. What are your goals for yourself and for your team in your senior year?

Well of course our main goal, you know, is to win the regional game and to make it back to the playoffs, and to win the state championship.  We believe we can accomplish those goals, ‘cause you know, we have a lot of our players coming back from last year.

BDN: What are the most important factors you’re looking for in a college?

The most important things I’m looking for in a school is the education, and the academic side of the school, ‘cause if coaches aren’t graduating their players, then, you know, it’s really no good because there is life after football also.  It’s not just about football, because one day football is gonna come to an end.

BDN: You mentioned the importance of academics; do you have a specific field that you would like to study in college?

Yes, I’m interesting in studying public policy and sports management. I’m looking forward to majoring in those.

BDN: What schools have you heard the most from so far? Who were the first schools to contact you?

Schools I’ve been hearing from the most are Duke, Georgia Tech, East Carolina, Louisville, Syracuse, Illinois, a little bit from Vanderbilt and South Carolina State, and North Carolina.

BDN: Which schools have you had a chance to visit so far?

I had a chance to visit Duke.  I had a chance to visit North Carolina.  I’ve had a chance to visit – I visited Clemson.  I’ve visited Georgia Tech.  And I’ve visited South Carolina State.

BDN: Have any schools stood out to you at this point in the process?

Are there any schools in particular that stood out for me?  Duke.  Duke’s really stood out for me, you know, based on their academics, and I really like their coaching staff.  They have a good group of coaches there, Coach Middleton, and Coach Cutcliffe.  They’re very nice guys.  And Coach Roper.

BDN: Do you have plans to visit any other schools this spring or summer?

Yes, this spring I plan on visiting Louisville, on East Carolina, and maybe some other schools.  But as far I know, those two.

BDN: Do you have an idea for when you would like to make your college decision or how you would like to narrow things down?

Well I kind of want to make a decision by the end of the summer.  But right now I’m just trying to enjoy everything, you know, till we get a grasp for each university.  But I really would like to make a decision towards the end of this summer.

BDN: Is there anything else that you think is important for college football fans to know about you?

I love the game.  I work hard.  I love to win.

BDN: Thanks a lot, Michael, and best of luck to you.

Okay, thank you, sir.